Boeing Launches 747-300 Modification Program

Thu Jun 01, 2000 9:26 am

Thought yall would like to read this:

SEATTLE, May 31, 2000 -- Boeing Airplane Services today announced the introduction of its 747-300 modification program with a launch order from Atlas Air for the conversion of three 747-300 Combi airplanes into full freighters.

"We are very pleased to announce the launch of our 747-300 modification program with Atlas Air," said Joseph Gullion, president of Boeing Airplane Services. "This program is a natural extension of our freighter conversion capabilities, with which we can match virtually any air cargo requirement."

Currently, there are 80 747-300 airplanes in service. Boeing Airplane Services estimates approximately 50 percent of those airplanes will be converted to freighters over the next 20 years.

"Demand for our 747 freighters continues to be strong," said Michael Chowdry, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Atlas Air, Inc. "Adding additional airplanes to our fleet through the conversion process has been one of our core business strategies to meet our customers' needs and we are pleased to be able to launch Boeing Airplane Services 747-300 conversion program."

Combi airplanes feature a large side cargo door on the main deck that permits cargo loading in the aft section while passengers board in the forward two-thirds section of the airplane.

The converted 747-300s will be capable of carrying the same volume as 747-200 modified freighters -- 26,600 cubic feet, of which 20,550 cubic feet will be on the main deck. The airplane will be able to carry approximately 235,000 pounds of revenue payload and its range will be approximately 4,200 nautical miles.

The structural difference between the -200 and -300 is that the 747's characteristic hump on the top extends 20-feet farther back on the -300 fuselage than on the -200. The -300 conversion modifies that extended space so that it can accommodate cargo.

Combi airplane freighter modifications require the removal of all passenger features on the airplane as well as the replacement of floor beams, seat tracks and floor panels to strengthen the main deck. Boeing Airplane Services installs additional powered cargo handling, smoke detection and fire suppression systems in the airplane's forward area.

Other modifications Boeing has developed to enhance freighter airplane performance and productivity include structural retrofits, such as stretching a 747 upper deck, and interior reconfiguration programs.

To date, Boeing Airplane Services' Wichita Modification Center has modified more than 90 model 747 airplanes of various configurations to special freighters. It also has converted five DC-10 and two MD-11 airplanes from passenger to freighter airplanes. In addition, Boeing Airplane Services delivered the first of 89 MD-10s to Fed Ex last month. The MD-10 is a modified DC-10 that incorporates the Boeing Advanced Common Flight Deck.

Boeing Airplane Services provides total service solutions designed to meet an airline's individual requirements. Offerings include engineering retrofit packages, avionics upgrades, in-flight entertainment systems integration, cabin management solutions, passenger-to-freighter conversions, recovery and repair services, and airplane performance improvements for all Boeing commercial airplanes. In addition, Boeing Airplane Services has the most comprehensive spare parts distribution system in the industry, with a worldwide network of distribution and service centers. It also provides technical consulting and general contracting support for passenger and cargo airlines.

Boeing Airplane Services is a unit of the Boeing Commercial Aviation Services organization, which offers the aviation industry's broadest array of support resources. As part of The Boeing Company, Boeing Airplane Services has access to all the experience and technical capabilities of the world's largest aerospace company. More than 11,000 Boeing airplanes are in operation today around the world.


What are you comments to this article?

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American 767
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RE: Boeing Launches 747-300 Modification Program

Thu Jun 01, 2000 9:48 am

Yes, I read that in the airline/aviation news on yahoo headlines. It's good to know. The only thing I have to talk about is the upper deck. I don't think that the cargo capacity of the 300 would be any larger than the 200F or the 400F which has its upper deck shrinked to that of the 100/200, because the upper deck of a 747 Freighter is used only for crew rest, not cargo. Why do you think that Boeing shrinked the upper deck of the 400 when they designed the freighter version? Because extra weight could be saved by carrying the same amount of freight. Only the main deck is used for cargo storage, so why are they converting 300's instead of 200's? I think they should convert 100's and 200's to freighters and leave the 300's for passenger service in charter companies. Other than that I think the article has some interesting information about Boeing conversion programs.

Ben Soriano
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Ben Soriano
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RE: Boeing Launches 747-300 Modification Program

Thu Jun 01, 2000 10:25 am

Not only does the stretched upper deck add weight, but it also reduces the height available for cargo in the forward-half (almost) of the airplane. Are the three airplnes being converted the ones that just left Swissair? Is HB-IGG still with TAAG Angola?
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

RE: DL_Mech

Fri Jun 02, 2000 4:29 am

Aircraft being converted are 2 ex-Varig & 1 ex-Sabena.
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RE: Boeing Launches 747-300 Modification Program

Fri Jun 02, 2000 9:08 pm

The two ex-Varig are already Combis so its easier to modify ´cause they don´t have to cut a new freight door.
HB-IGG still with Angola Airlines (reg. D2-TEB)? I think so, I´ve heard nothing about it beeing a short term lease, its painting in the full bright livery of TAAG. To my knowledge they want to use it for some years.

Atlas is concentrating on GE-powered 2nd hand Jumbos and the engine type seems to be more important to them than whether its a 200- or 300-series with more "metal" to carry. And by the way there are not a lot of GE-powered -200s on the market.

Which of the 2 ex-Sabena planes is goeing to Atlas?

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